Home-Made Alphabet Soup Mix-in-a-Jar Recipe
A is for Alphabet Soup
Alphabet Soup" is a favorite of the young and the young-at-heart. Even finicky eaters like this fun home-made Alphabet Soup! The perfect warmer- upper after a hockey game or building a snowman, alphabet soup remains one of the most popular soups for lunch or supper year-round.
This Alphabet Soup Recipe is easy to make and store as a mix to have on hand in your pantry or to give as a gift.
Alphabet Soup is also a great way to get kids to eat healthier. They may even get so interested in finding their initials or spelling a word that they won't even realize they are eating vegetables!
This particular recipe is for a home-made all natural Alphabet Soup "mix" that also makes an attractive, thoughtful, easy to make gift that does not cost much in either time or money, but is always greatly appreciated. Plus you can make it in vegetarian and gluten-free versions just by altering a few ingredients accordingly.
Why Not Open a Can Instead?
(We knew you'd ask us that!)
Have you ever read the ingredients on canned soup or boxed soup mixes?
How many of the listed items have names you can neither spell or pronounce? There is good reason for that -- it makes it harder to realize what you are REALLY eating.
Making your own means you will have food with no unnecessary additives, colors, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and artificially added vitamins to make up for the ones destroyed during processing.
Sure, canned soup is convenient, but I think once you see how easy almost all of the recipes in this collecton of lenses are to prepare, especially those that you can freeze or make into a mix yourself to keep on hand in your cupboard, you will no longer be willing to "trade-off" health and nutrition for convenience.
To Make An Attractive Jar of Soup Mix
For Yourself or Gifting
The photo is of a mix we make for a Mexican flavored Bean Soup, but it works for a variety of soups - including this one. Just layer the dry ingredients in a one quart jar or mix them together, depending on recipe and store the sealed jar in your cupboard.
If you are layering the ingredients, consider the size, weight, and color of each in filling the jar. For example, alternate colors and put smaller ingredients (like lentils or split peas) in first with larger ones (like dried kidney beans) on top as that will make it easier to keep the layers separated. You can wrap seasonings in a square of plastic wrap or small plastic bag and place that on top if you choose to include dried herbs in the mix.
Prepared home-made soup mix also makes an attractive, easy, inexpensive but thoughtful gift. Tie a ribbon around the jar and perhaps add a small wooden spoon or, if appropriate, a nutmeg grater or other small gadget related to the recipe on one side. Be sure to print out a copy of the instructions to include with the jar. I like to make a personalized label for the front of the jar and put the instructions on the back. Be creative! Have fun! And enjoy!
Ingredients for 5 Cups of Alphabet Soup Mix
1 cup to use now and 4 to store or give as a gift
- 1 1/2 cups Dry Green Split Peas
- 1 1/4 cups Dry Yellow Lentils
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 cups Alphabet Pasta
- 1/3 cup Barley or Long Grain Rice
- 1/3 cup Dried Minced Onion
- 1/3 cup Dried Parsley
Find Alphabet Pastas to Suit Any Diet
Instructions for Mix
Some for now, some for future use
Since this recipe makes 5 cups of mix, you will need a one cup measuring cup and a one quart* (4 cups) jar.
You can divide the ingredients individually if you do want to layer them, but dividing each ingredient into 4/5ths and 1/5th tries my patience, so I mix all of the above dry ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE ALPHABET PASTA together in a bowl.
You will have 3 cups of the mix. Measure 2 2/3 cups of the mixture without the pasta and pour into jar, reserving the rest to cook now.
Don't worry If ingredients settle after filling the jar or don't quite fill it, you can add more alphabet pasta or barley to top it off.
1 cup of mix is enough to make up to 6 servings of soup. Enough at our house to have some left over for the next day's lunch.
* Note: 1 Quart is just a little less than 1 Liter (1 Liter = 1.06 Quarts). They are close enough in size to substitute for each other.
Soup Making Essentials
Making the Soup From the Mix - Ingredients List
• 1 Cup Alphabet Soup Mix
• 2 Cups Fresh Peeled, Diced tomatoes or 1 can, box, or jar of chopped tomatoes in puree
• 32 ounces Vegetable or Chicken broth
(I use organic boxed broths or make my own and freeze it ahead of time for uses such as this)
• Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)
Optional Additons and Serving Stretchers
Adding one or more of the following will also increase number of servings accordingly.
• Diced carrots (about 3/4 cup)
• Diced potato (about 3/4 cup)
• Small meatballs (3/4 to 1 cup)
• Black beans (about 3/4 cup)
• About a cup of Frozen mixed vegetables
• If you have any leftover cooked chicken, beef, or turkey, you can cut up the meat and add it to the soup
Doesn't This Recipe Deserve an A+?
For Storing & Gifting
More Alphabet Soup Fun
(It's Educational, Nutritious, And Delicious!)
Research shows that we learn more when that learning is connected to relevant activity. Cooking with children can be very educational as well as fun.
I still have fond memories of helping to measure, mix (and taste!) in the kitchen when I was a child. Build on that with any of the suggested books below to reinforce and expand positive learning experiences.
Here are some suggestions for books to use to help you turn cooking and mealtime into an educational experience for children.
About the Books Shown Above
Left to Right:
Alphabet Soup by Scott Gustafson is a captivating and richly illustrated book that will appeal to the young and the young-at-heart. An otter moves to a new home and finds a huge pot there so he invites 26 friends, each representing a letter of the alphabet to a potluck house warming party. Each guest is asked to bring one item to add to the pot for the communal soup. The soup winds up with alliterative ingredients from A to Z, with each animal bringing an item representing her letter. (for example, the Lion brings Lentils and the Zebra adds Zucchini). Kids have great fun trying to guess what each guest will bring and have loads of fun while learning the alphabet and probably even some tasty food items they are not yet familiar with.
Alphabet Soup by Kate Banks. Just like the story, the illustrations have a dreamy quality that captures the imaginative daydream adventure told in this book about a boy who doesn't want to eat his soup but who discovers that his ability to spell words with the letters in his bowl are an essential (and magical) skill during his inventive daydream adventure. This is an excellent book to use for having children predict what might happen next since the illustrations provide clues to the inspiration of the boy's fantasies.
Alphabet Soup Beginning Games: Matching Games for the Alphabet by Marilynn G. Barr is a series of games based on the Alphabet and disguised as a book. Games are designed to reinforce learning one's ABCs as well as a focus on fair-play, fine-motor, and memory skills through matching, stacking, and other game variations. Each game includes a game board and playing pieces. This is the first in a series of four books.
All for PreK-1 and available at Amazon.com
ABC's and More
to Listen and Sing Along With
Music is another way to make it easier to learn and remember, from singing the "ABC" song to improving memory. I know hearing certain songs can bring back particularly warm, fuzzy feelings from my childhood as I can still hear them in my mind being sung in my mother's voice or with the scratchy sounds of records played on my dad's old victrola phonograph.
Below you will find some of our suggestions for memorable music to accompany cooking and dining.
© 2011 Chazz